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Cancer Vaccine?

Perfect timing.  I’ve been feeling a sense of relief and accomplishment all day.  It was one year ago today that I had my last chemotherapy treatment.  At Highlands Oncology a patient gets to ring a train bell at the end of their final treatment.  I was so feeble I could barely raise up from the wheelchair enough to pull the cord, but I managed.

I had beat cancer.  But, the most harrowing part of the experience would be in the month to follow.  The nausea, mouth sores and fatigue were the worst then.  It was ironic, but it’s the cumulative nature of chemo.

Today I was watching the local news at noon and they reported a breakthrough on a cancer vaccine.  My day got even better.

They reported that the vaccine would use someone’s own immune system to kill cancer cells.  That part concerned me.  Would an organ transplant patient be able to have this vaccine if it did that?  Then the report went on to name an immunosuppressant (anti-rejection drug) that is actually part of the vaccine.  It’s one that I’ve taken in the past.  So, it sounds like this vaccine might even apply to me and others with a transplant.

Clinical trials are in the early stages, so it may be a few years before anyone knows how effective it might be.  But, it’s good news that gives me hope on the day of this personal milestone.

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